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Earlier this week Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming threatened British resolve to stand with the pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong who are imperiled by the new security law. The law that was imposed on Hong Kong via dictat from Beijing has already been used to arrest ten citizens for “acts of secession, subversion of state power, terrorist activities and collusion with foreign or external forces to endanger national security”. Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming tweeted: “China wants to be UK’s friend and partner.
“But if you treat China as a hostile country, you would have to bear the consequences.
“To quote Dr Zbigniew Brzezinski: If we treat China like an enemy, they will become an enemy.
“It’s up to UK side to decide what they want in the end.”
He also warned: “Any attempts to disrupt or obstruct implementation of the National Security Law will be met with strong opposition of 1.4 billion Chinese people.
“All these attempts are doomed to failure!”
The Chinese ambassador to the UK also held a briefing at London’s exclusive Walbrook Club in a bid to ensure the business community that the new security law would not affect international financial institutions.
Speaking to Express.co.uk senior fellow at the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute Andreas Fulda said: “The case of Australia shows that the Chinese Communist Party has no qualms to follow through with its threats of retaliation.
“In the latter case, an entirely reasonable request for an independent international inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 was enough to trigger a major crisis in the bilateral relationship.
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“Chinese economic sanctions against Australia were the result.”
Mr Fulda who is author of The Struggle for Democracy in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong added: “It doesn’t take a PhD in International Relations to foresee that UK-China relations are going to deteriorate markedly in the coming weeks and months.
“There are increasing points of conflict, whether it is the incarceration of Uyghurs and Kazakhs, the suppression of Hong Kong’s democracy movement or the threat of retaliatory measures should the British government ditch Huawei.”
Mr Fulda spoke of the future of Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G upgrade as nearing a “U-turn” that could see other European countries following the UK’s example and excluding Huawei from their infrastructure.
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He said: “Government leaks to the British media have prepared the public for a U-turn on Huawei, which will most likely be excluded from 5G infrastructure building.
“This will incur the wrath of General Secretary Xi Jinping, not least since other European countries are likely to follow the British example.
“This would be a major set back for the Chinese Communist Party’s ambitions to separate the UK and mainland Europe from the United States.
“Add to this the likelihood of targeted Magnitsky sanctions by the British government on mainland Chinese and Hong Kong-based decision-makers who are complicit with the implementation of the illiberal National Security Law.
“While it is debatable how much of a deterrent such sanctions on individuals will be for the regime, such acts will be met by stern opposition from the CCP.”
Mr Fulda has predicted that UK-China relations will enter a downward spiral of measures and counter-measures that could see a ripple effect across Europe.
He has stated that there are already influential voices in Germany who have called for greater European solidarity with their British partners.
Mr Fulda said: “This will put additional pressure on Germany to toughen up its China policy.
“Germany currently holds the six-month Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“The Chinese Communist Party thus has very few good strategic options.
“If it doesn’t follow through with its retaliatory measures against the UK it will be exposed as a paper dragon.
“And if it does retaliate this will set a chain effect in motion which has the potential to lead to a united front of European liberal democracies against the Chinese Communist Party.
“The Chinese Communist Party thus faces a lose-lose scenario.”
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